“My favorite fighter to watch ever I would say is Fedor Emelianenko,” Rousey said during a Facebook chat sponsored by Metro PCS on Wednesday.
Emelianenko held the Pride FC heavyweight title from 2003 to 2006. In an eight-year span, the Russian strung together an unprecedented 28-fight winning streak. He’s widely regarded as the greatest heavyweight of all time.
“He’s always going to be my favorite. It was the first highlight reel I ever saw of MMA. I loved his style and how he came from a Judo-Sambo background, and I really try to emulate his style every time that I fight,” said Rousey.
Emelianenko retired from fighting on June 12, 2012 following a first-round knockout win over former UFC heavyweight contender Pedro Rizzo in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Rousey is currently filming “The Ultimate Fighter” season 18 in Las Vegas, coaching opposite rival Miesha Tate.
She was originally scheduled to coach the reality show opposite Cat Zingano, who defeated Tate in April to earn the coaching position and title shot, but was forced off the show with a knee injury. Tate replaced Zingano.
Rousey defeated Tate to capture the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title in March 2012. The two rivals will rematch at the conclusion of the season which airs on Fox Sports 1 in the fall.